Lessons from Béni

December 16, 2009 at 5:43 PM 6 comments

Before I begin, I just want to note that I’m really excited – my parents and younger brother will be here in the morning!

Ok…now on to the post.

Recently, Béni’s outdoor behavior was beginning to be less cute and more rebellious, which tended to bring out a less than patient side of us. Neither of us like yelling at Béni, especially because then he only knows we’re mad at him, but he doesn’t know what to do instead.

We have been working on more positive reinforcement and trying not to yell at him when he’s being bad outside. To clarify, this “bad behavior” entails not coming when he’s called and running around like a maniac when we haven’t told him to go play. The use of more praise and far less “bad dog!” has really started to make positive changes. Generally speaking, he comes inside when he’s told (and even drops his stick at the door!) and he’s so pleased when he sees we’re happy. It makes us less stressed and happier puppy parents too.

I know this probably seems like common sense, but at least for us, it can be hard to react with positive reinforcement when you’re afraid 1) your dog might hurt himself 2) your dog might hurt someone else 3) your dog might run away or 4) your dog is embarrassing you in front of your neighbors. 

The other part of training that frustrates us is when we are trying to get Béni to sit when another person approaches. Typically, the other person responds with “oh it’s ok” and pets Béni when we’re trying to get him to sit. Listen folks, we are trying to get him to sit and behave. I don’t particularly care if you think it’s ok for him to jump on you, because in our eyes, it’s completely unacceptable for our dog to behave that way. Other people have told us that “oh, he’s just a puppy” and they think it’s so cute that he wants to play, but you know what’s not cute – an adult dog who acts the same way.

All this said, I want to note that Béni’s behavior is amazing for a 10 month old. He loves his training time and can do so many tricks that it makes our heads spin. His comprehension is awesome. He knows the difference between “to bed,” “kennel up,” “to the car,” “to your room,” “outside,” and “to the couch.” They’re all locations, and he can find them once we tell him to go there.


Entry filed under: Our Goings On. Tags: , , , , , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cat  |  December 17, 2009 at 2:20 AM

    Way to go on the training!

    Will & I are working on training his dog, still, she’s 3 and quite the everlasting pill. Will y’all train her when back in SA? 😉

    xoxo, Cat

    • 2. osarah  |  December 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM

      Thanks! Sure, we can throw some pointers your way too…if you have any specific questions, let me know 🙂

  • 3. Shaunna Timmons  |  December 17, 2009 at 10:27 AM

    Im so looking forward to dog sitting this weekend!!!!! Yayay!

    • 4. osarah  |  December 22, 2009 at 1:22 PM

      I hope you enjoyed it! Liek I said, I LOVE the photos you posted!

  • 5. Clare  |  December 17, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    as someone with both severe allergies and a fear of bigger dogs (due to being bitten in the EYE by one when I was 11, ahhhh!) I really appreciate when dog owners make efforts to train their dogs not to jump all over people. I understand that sometimes the dog will do it anyway out of excitement, but that a dog owner even thinks about it is awesome, so many don’t see any problem with it. So thanks!

    • 6. osarah  |  December 22, 2009 at 1:26 PM

      Yikes (about the eye thing)!

      and you’re welcome 🙂


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